Thursday, hundreds of musicians will perform free concerts all over Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties – from street corners and hallways to Severance Hall and the Beachland Ballroom. It’s part of Make Music Day Cleveland.
Program Director Aliya Ultan studies cello at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, and she’ll be one of some 300 artists expected to participate in Make Music Day in Cleveland. It’s a global celebration that will be held in 70 U.S. cities tomorrow.
Ultan organized Cleveland’s event that features everything from classical and hip hop to rock 'n roll to reggae.
"It's really just about activating and celebrating and opening up creative communuties for everyone to recognize on a day."
Ultan says among the performances, she's most excited for 88-bit. Rob Kovacs of Cleveland is a solo pianst who covers video game music. He performs at 12:30 p.m. at Severance Hall.
Cleveland's Public Square features a harmonica parade at 3 p.m.
"We'll be handing out harmonicas and there will be short workshops where someone will teach you a couple tunes and you all just walk around and meet up in a place."
There are also instrument-making workshops in Oberlin.
To find other performances, Ultan has created an event map.
"It's basically a treasure hunt, but it is really fun to have people happen upon music-making. At the heart of it is that we're creating safe-spaces for anyone to create in front of each other, with each other and around each other.
Ultan says organizing the event is a passion for her, growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and participating in community engagement programs like Boys and Girls Club. "I've spent a lot of time on the other side of things, so it's really important for me to give back.